This is a typical Italian way of preparing vegetables, but I first had it in a little restaurant called La Capannina on the Isle of Capri, and so I think of it as Capri-style. The vegetables listed here are merely guidelines—as always, the fresher and more seasonal, the better.
Mario Batali Italian Grill by Mario Batali; copyright © HarperCollins
Mario Batali Italian Grill; copyright (c) HarperCollins
|cup red wine vinegar||2 red bell peppers|
|3 garlic cloves, minced||2 yellow bell peppers|
|1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled||12 baby zucchini with flowers or 4 small zucchini|
|1 teaspoon ground cumin||2 medium red onions|
|1 teaspoon Colman's dry mustard||6 scallions|
|1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes||12 spears pencil asparagus|
|cup extra-virgin olive oil||Kosher salt|
|Grated zest and juice of 1 orange||12 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (thin slivers)|
|2 small Asian or Italian eggplant|
Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, oregano, cumin, mustard, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and orange juice (reserve the zest for garnish). Set aside.
Cut the eggplant into ½-inch-thick slices. Cut the peppers into quarters and remove the cores and seeds. If using baby zucchini, cut them lengthwise in half. If using small zucchini, cut lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slices (discard the first and last slice from each). Cut the onions into 6 or 8 wedges each. Trim the scallions. Snap off the tough bottom parts of the asparagus stalks.
Place the vegetables on two large baking sheets. Brush lightly with some of the red wine vinegar marinade and season lightly with salt. Place on the grill over medium-high to high heat (you will probably have to cook the vegetables in batches) and cook, turning once or twice, until tender and slightly charred on both sides: the eggplant will take about 8 to 10 minutes, the peppers 10 to 12 minutes, the zucchini 6 to 8 minutes, the onions and scallions 4 to 6 minutes, and the asparagus 5 to 7 minutes. Remove each vegetable from the grill as it is done and return to the baking sheets.
Cut the peppers crosswise in half. Arrange the vegetables decoratively on a large serving platter and drizzle with the remaining marinade. Sprinkle with the orange zest and basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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